Day 168 the one where my Nexus 9 tablet made an appearance

2018: Day 168 the one where my Nexus 9 tablet made an appearance

Dear Reader,

Charging my ASUS C101P tablet should be easy enough. It has USB Type-C ports and that should make it easier to manage. You may have already guessed from the title of the post that I forgot to charge my C101P. Right now it is charging from zero percent to whatever is usable. That opened the door for my Nexus 9 tablet to make an appearance. It has a bluetooth keyboard that mostly works and it happens to be fully charged. Strangely enough even though this is a Google Nexus 9 tablet the folks over at Google stopped providing updates at Android 7.1.1 with a security patch level of September 5, 2017. Overall my Nexus 9 tablet works better today than the day I purchased it. While that mind sound like a braggadocious statement it oddly is very true. As Android has gotten better so has the overall usability of the Nexus 9 tablet. It even has built in LTE service and can pretty much stand on its own as a computing device for basic writing or typing. Over the years what ends up returning it to storage is generally the keyboard. I do not really enjoy the writing on the bluetooth keyboard.

A number of different keyboards have been tested with the Nexus 9. None of them really feel very comfortable. I can write for hours on my ASUS C101P and that is really the core use case for why I need a laptop or tablet size computing device. A vinyl record arrived recently in a box that had an interesting phrase on the outside. It said in reasonably large letters, “Thank you for keeping vinyl alive.” My vinyl record collection mostly includes things from Kickstarter projects or vintage Warren Zevon albums that were purchased from eBay. I guess the collection also include a fair number of Eric Clapton records. Getting into vinyl record collecting seemed like a good idea. My Audioengine A5+ speakers are high quality and are fully capable of producing stereo audio. Given that most records are stereo these days it seemed like a good idea to get a record player and that is pretty much how it started. It seemed like a good idea and it worked out well enough.

Speaking of good ideas that worked out well enough the Nexus 9 tablet was not all that well received at the time. I’m still able to use it and it has worked well for me for a few years now. It is hard to imagine that something that was purchased back on Jun 28, 2015 is already so outdated that the manufacturer has stopped providing updates for it. At some point I’m sure it will get the latest version of Android P side loaded on it. At the moment the tablet is sporting the last official version sent over the air to update it Android 7.1.1. My Pixel 2 XL has a beta version of Android 9 on it right now and it works well. Selling people products and abandoning them after two years is a rough model. No option even exists to buy more upgrade time or to join a premium support model. That is a true flaw in the tablet and smartphone market. It feels like the latest technology gets all the support and anything that is more than a couple years old is relegated to the junk heap of history. A company like Google that only produces a handful of products does not really have an excuse to stop providing updates to the technology so quickly.

Right now I’m reading updates on how to update the Android version on my Nexus 9 tablet. It does appear that some folks have dropped a stable version of Android Oreo on the Nexus 9 tablet and have shared instructions on how to accomplish that online. Updating the device via a side process is something that I have avoided since the last update. For the most part the reason that I have avoided doing any updates is the support for the LTE connectivity that the device currently has. Apparently my preference to have LTE built into my devices is something that only a small percentage of people actually want and are willing to pay for. Both of my ASUS Flip tables have needed WiFi to connect to the internet. They are devices that have to be tethered to something else for internet support. A few Chromebooks do exist out on the market with LTE built into them for internet access. One of the 2018 models I’m tracking happens to be the Acer Chromebook 11 C732. That might just be my next Chromebook after this ASUS C101P gives out.

It might not seem like a necessary feature for a Chromebook, but I have found that having to mess around with turning on the hotspot and dealing with the battery draining consequences of having the hotspot turned on are enough to encourage me to seek alternatives. Right now I’m actually surfing the T-Mobile website to see what options they might be selling. The folks over at T-Mobile had a couple tablet options from LG and Samsung. None of those devices came with a rock solid keyboard. Overall the use case for the LTE being built into the Chromebook is that I want to be able to sit down and work. Things just need to work and that should be that. It should be very easy to accomplish. A good chunk of the time this Chromebook is able to find some type of WiFi during the course of my travels. It would be more secure to just have my own mobile cellular connection built into the device. My usage of Chromebooks does not really involve watching video so it should work out well enough.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado

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